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Poster: Archfilm Date: May 1, 2013 11:07am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

There are sources that claim that Esper solely owned distribution rights.

"When MGM shelved 'Freaks,' it gave a twenty-five-year license on the film to Dwain Esper," and that the rights later reverted to MGM ("Cutting Edge: Art-horror and the Horrific Avant-garde" by Joan Hawkins, p. 146).

"For years, [MGM] leased the film out to subdistributors like Dwain Esper" ("America's Film Legacy: The Authoritative Guide to the Landmark Movies in the National Film Registry Daniel Eagan, p. 191).

TCM's website also claims that MGM licensed the film to Esper (http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/163/Freaks/articles.html).

There are many legit sources on the web (non-Wikipedia) that Loew's Inc., which renewed the copyright in 1959, was the parent company of MGM.